SNAPSHOT: Legal Campaigners Fight Climate Change Through the Courts

 
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Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons

2018 saw an uptick in legal action on climate change, with citizens, cities, and states turning to the courts to push for faster government action to cut greenhouse gas emissions or hold fossil companies accountable for their outsized role in bringing about the climate crisis.

In a landmark decision that had climate hawks around much of the world hoping for a precedent, an appeal court in the Netherlands upheld a lower court order calling for faster emissions cuts by the national government. Courts in Germany ordered three cities to consider banning high-polluting diesel vehicles and temporarily protected a remnant of the 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest from an open-cast coal mine. A report found that more than 80 climate-related lawsuits had landed in U.S. courtrooms in 2017.

The Rise of Climate Attribution Litigation

Legal campaigners built on the emergence of climate impact attribution studies in 2017 as a possible tool for holding fossils, other businesses, and governments accountable for climate impacts by pinpointing the role of major emitters in climate disasters. In mid-May, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said time will tell how well attribution science fares in court. But by then, District Court Judge William Alsup had upheld two California cities’ right to attempt to sue carbon polluters in federal court. Alsup ultimately ruled against the cities, dealing “the first major blow to the wave of climate suits that have been filed by communities across the country over the past year,” Climate Liability News reported. But before concluding that it was up to elected legislators, not an unelected judge, to decide whether the world is better off without oil, Alsup held what amounted to a climate science seminar in his courtroom, in what Michael Burger, Executive Director of Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, called “the closest that we have seen to a trial on climate science in the United States to date.”

In Canada, West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) and the Georgia Strait Alliance were satisfied with the near-miss when a proposal to send municipal climate accountability letters to 20 colossal fossils earned the support of 47.8% of local officials at the Union of B.C. Municipalities. While “we narrowly lost the vote,” wrote WCEL staff lawyer Andrew Gage, “I felt surprisingly good about it” given the quick pace at which the proposal gained support. WCEL also released a legal tookit for campaigners opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Legal Action from All Directions

Rhode Island became the first U.S. state to sue fossils for climate impacts; Colorado filed against ExxonMobil and Suncor; and New York City launched a claim against five giant fossil producers for their role in Hurricane Sandy, “a tragedy wrought by the actions of the fossil fuel companies” that left 44 dead and US$19 billion in damage after it stormed ashore in October 2012.

Later in the year, New York State filed suit against ExxonMobil, claiming that America’s biggest oil company had misled investors about its management of climate risk. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni had previously accused Exxon of “running roughshod over the adage that the best defence is a good offence” with its claim that New York and Massachusetts were violating its free speech rights by probing whether it had misled investors. A bipartisan group in the United States proposed a carbon tax deal that would have protected fossils from future climate liability.

Dutch journalist Jelmer Mommers discovered that Royal Dutch Shell understood the urgency of climate change as far back as 1988. In mid-November, U.S. crab fishers sued 30 fossils, including Calgary-based Encana Corporation, in a bid to hold them accountable for “significant economic losses” due to ocean warming off California and Oregon.

Fourteen U.S. states sued the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce its methane control regulations, 19 states threatened legal action after the Trump administration moved to roll back tailpipe emission standards, and Colorado’s oil and gas regulator faced an environmental lawsuit from a poor, mostly Hispanic neighbourhood in the city of Greeley.

A Quebec village defeated a lawsuit that would have prevented it from protecting its water supply from fossil exploration. South Portland, Maine, won a landmark case upholding a local anti-pipeline ordinance, and anti-pipeline campaigners found out to their dismay that when they win in court, U.S. regulators just change the rules. Montreal-based ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU) opened a class action suit on behalf of Quebec youth aged 35 and under, taking Ottawa to task for its inadequate plan to combat climate change.

More Delays for Landmark Youth Lawsuit

The Trump administration continued its feverish effort to keep the 21 youth plaintiffs behind Juliana v. United States out of court. After the White House lost a bid to quash the case in March, the trial was scheduled for October 29. The plaintiffs bought their train tickets to Eugene, Oregon, only to be held up again by additional court challenges.

Youth in Colombia took their government to court for failing to protect their future, and eight youth plaintiffs filed suit in mid-April against Florida’s climate-denying governor, Rick Scott.

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A former opposition politician in Alberta is calling for a tax revolt after Premier Jason Kenney sided with deadbeat fossils against the rural municipalities they’re depriving of C$173 million in local tax revenue.

Trump Policies Hand Poor, Non-White Areas the ‘Brunt’ of Climate Impacts

Critics are warning that the Trump administration’s proposed changes to the environmental review process for pipeline and highway megaprojects will hit poor and minority Americans hardest.

‘Words Make Worlds’: Holthaus Issues Call to Imagine, Create a Radically Positive Future

As the climate crisis deepens, we must be “radically imaginative,” telling ourselves and each other stories of fiercely visionary, loving, and productive collective actions that will help end the climate emergency, veteran meteorologist and climate hawk Eric Holthaus writes in The Correspondent.

Countries Can’t Turn Back Climate Refugees Whose Lives Are at Risk, UN Committee Rules

Countries can no longer send climate refugees back to nations of origin where the climate crisis might threaten their lives, according to a ruling by the United Nations Human Rights Committee earlier this month—even though the Kiribati resident who filed the original case lost his bid for relocation in New Zealand.

Harvard Students Protest After Exxon’s Law Firm Tries to Recruit Them

An elite U.S. corporate law firm flopped badly in its recent bid to recruit Harvard law students, when nearly a third of the invitees delivered a sharp rebuke for the firm’s ongoing role in defending colossal fossil ExxonMobil, making it clear they saw no kind of professional future with an organization that traffics in fossils.

FERC Oversteps Authority on Local Power Generation

U.S. Judges Toss Landmark Youth Climate Case, Send Plaintiffs Back to the Ballot Box

After a five-year push just to secure a trial date, the landmark Juliana v. United States youth climate justice case is hanging by a thread, after two out of three judges who heard the case before the federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that it didn’t belong in court.

Scientists Declare 2010s the Hottest Decade, 2019 the Second-Warmest Year on Record

NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have declared the 2010s the hottest 10 years on record, with 2019 the second-warmest ever, findings confirmed by climate-related devastation around the globe.

credit suisse Federer protest

Swiss Judge Acquits Credit Suisse Protesters for ‘Necessary, Proportional’ Response to Climate Crisis

A judge in Lausanne, Switzerland has acquitted a group of youth protesters on trespassing charges and waived fines of CHf 21,600 (US$22,200) per person, ruling their actions were “necessary and proportional” to the “imminent danger” of climate change.

Trusted Household Brands Help YouTube Videos ‘Turn Climate Denial Into Cash’

YouTube is broadcasting climate denial and misinformation to many millions, and some of the world’s biggest brands are unknowingly underwriting that activity, warns a new study conducted by Avaaz.

Construction on Cross-Border Segment of Keystone XL to Begin in April

Construction on the 1.9-kilometre segment of the contested Keystone XL pipeline that crosses the Canada-U.S. border is set to begin in April, according to a filing last week with the U.S. District Court in Montana.

Fossils Acknowledge Climate Litigation Hitting Their Bottom Line

Alaska pipeline winter

Supreme Court Rejects B.C.’s Challenge to Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously rejected British Columbia’s challenge to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, concluding that the province’s bid to regulate the flow of heavy oil through its territory would defeat the federal government’s constitutional authority to approve and regulate interprovincial pipelines.

Emails Show Trump Justice Department Teaming Up with Fossils in Climate Liability Lawsuit

Donald Trump’s Department of Justice coordinated efforts with fossil companies trying to fight off a climate liability lawsuit from the cities of Oakland and San Francisco in early 2018, with one DOJ lawyer talking about working with industry lawyers as a “team”, according to 178 pages of emails obtained by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and shared with InsideClimate News.

Appeals Court Deals Further Setback to Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Pickering nuclear

False Alarm Draws Attention to Delayed Pickering Nuclear Shutdown, Triggers Surging Demand for Emergency Iodide Pills

Millions of people across Ontario woke up in a panic early Sunday morning, after an emergency alert falsely announced an incident at the Pickering nuclear station east of Toronto.

Democrats Plan ‘Sweeping Legislation’ to Hit Net-Zero Emissions by 2050

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are developing what The Hill calls “sweeping climate legislation” to bring the country to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, while Utility Dive points to renewable energy advocates charting the “most effective” path to hit that target.

UK Recalls Publication Branding XR an ‘Extreme Ideology’

The former head of the United Kingdom’s Prevent anti-radicalization team is taking police to task for listing Extinction Rebellion as an extreme ideology in a publication designed to help stop terrorist violence.

EPA Ignores Health Benefits of Coal Rule It’s Working to Undercut

Stop Indigenous Evictions at Coastal GasLink Site, B.C. Human Rights Commissioner Urges

Canada must stop the eviction of Wet’suwet’en and Secwepemc protesters blockading the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia, guarantee that no force will be used against them, and prohibit the use of lethal weapons on the site, B.C. Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender said Friday.

New Trump Regulation Would Take Climate Out of the Discussion on New Infrastructure Projects

The Trump administration is planning revisions to the U.S. National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) to remove the requirement for federal agencies to take the climate crisis into account in their assessments of new pipelines, highways, and other infrastructure projects.

Minnesota Republicans Back Clean Energy Transition Bill

Amazon Staff Face ‘Formal Corrective Action’ for Challenging Company’s Climate Performance

While pledging aggressive action to reduce a carbon footprint that approaches that of Denmark, Amazon is policing climate activists on its payroll, recently threatening to dismiss several employees who’ve publicly called on the sprawling tech giant to do more, including severing its ties with Big Oil.

Minnesota Court Forces New Wisconsin Gas Plant to Probe Climate Impacts

Nevada Governor Signs Executive Order to Cut Emissions, Speed Up Advanced Energy

Yurek Cancels Eastern Ontario Wind Farm Despite Looming Fears for Electricity Supply

The Doug Ford government’s abrupt cancellation of an eastern Ontario wind power development is running headlong into concerns about the reliability of the province’s electricity supply over the next two to four years.

‘Groundbreaking’ Supreme Court Ruling Mandates Fast Carbon Cut in The Netherlands

Dutch campaigners are declaring an “immense victory for climate justice” after a strongly-worded supreme court judgement December 20 upheld governments’ human rights duty to protect citizens from climate change and ordered The Netherlands to cut greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 1990 levels by the end of this year.

Austria to Set 2040 Carbon Neutral Target as Greens Join Coalition Government

Austria is poised to become a European “forerunner” in climate protection and set a 2040 carbon-neutral target after the centre-right People’s Party (Oe Vp) and the Greens announced a coalition government last Thursday.

Wet’suwet’en Evict Pipeline Contractors, Expect RCMP Push After Judge Extends Injunction Against Blockade

Wet’suwet’en land defenders issued an eviction notice to a Coastal GasLink pipeline work site near Houston, British Columbia but were expecting a stepped-up RCMP presence in their territory, after a provincial supreme court judge extended an existing interim injunction against their blockade of the controversial, C$6.6-billion project.

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

Wilkinson Weighs Teck Tar Sands/Oil Sands Megaproject Against Net-Zero Carbon Pledge

Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he’s grappling with how Teck Resources’ C$20.6-billion tar sands/oil sands mining megaproject fits in with Canada’s climate commitments, with a decision on the controversial project expected in the first three months of the year.

Europe Threatens Border Adjustment Tariff for Climate Laggards Like U.S.

In what Politico interprets as a lesson learned from Donald Trump’s trade wars, the European Union is threatening a carbon tariff on countries like the United States that refuse to step up and commit to getting their greenhouse gas emissions under control.

Alberta Faces Skepticism for War Room Announcement, Trashes Its Own Claim that Carbon Tax Hurts GDP

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is having a rough week, with two veteran journalists questioning the potential impact of his much-anticipated fossil war room and his own government’s court documents undercutting his claim that the previous NDP government’s carbon levy harmed the province’s economy.

Greta Thunberg

Thunberg, 15 Other Youth Call Out Canadian, Norwegian Fossils for Violating Children’s Rights

With #FridaysForFuture founder Greta Thunberg and 15 other youth campaigners in Madrid calling out Canada and Norway for violating children’s rights and urging them to wind down their oil and gas production, Norway’s top fossil lobbyist is openly fretting about the “intense” nature of the debate around his industry’s climate impact.

New UK Government Faces Steep Climb on Net-Zero Target, Power Supply Post-Brexit

Implementing the United Kingdom’s net-zero by 2050 target, eliminating planning bottlenecks for offshore wind, and keeping post-Brexit power connections with Europe smooth, especially for Ireland, are three challenges facing Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Greentech Media reports, in a follow-up on the election last week that brought Johnson a majority government.

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

Decision on Teck Frontier Mega-Mine Will Test Canada’s Climate Action Commitment

The massive Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in Alberta is emerging as an early test of the re-elected Trudeau government’s climate commitment, with a cabinet decision due in February and campaigners gearing up to oppose a megaproject that would run through 2067 and increase Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by six million tonnes per year.

Alberta Launches ‘Hopeful, Uplifting’ War Room After Kenney’s Ottawa Visit Fizzles

The Alberta government has officially launched its C$30-million “war room” to counter what it claims is misinformation about the province’s fossil industry.

Minority Communities Face Greatest Risk as Atlantic Coast Pipeline Pushes Into Rural America

Promising jobs and property tax revenue, owners of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are pushing ahead against grassroots resistance and expert testimony, both maintaining that such gains are outweighed by the potential for great harm to be borne mostly by rural, African-American, and Indigenous communities, as well as delicate ecosystems.

Long History of Waste, Shrinkage Due to Climate Change Put Majestic Colorado River At Risk

One hundred years after politicians ignored warnings that even the majestic Colorado River could not sustain all the demands on its water from seven different states, policy-makers are still ignoring the science—a path that is particularly unwise in a climate emergency, Grist reports.

Three States Join Lawsuit Against Line 5 Pipeline

Minnesota Regulator Sees Little Impact on Lake Superior from Line 3

Jonathan Wilkinson COP 25 climate Canada

Canada Pledges Net Zero by 2050 as Major Emitters Dig In to Block COP 25 Progress

Canada earned praise for promising to legislate a 2050 deadline for net-zero carbon emissions, but big emitters like Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India, and China were called out for blocking progress, as COP 25 moved into a crucial round of high-level negotiations this week in Madrid.

VW

Enviros Call for Billions in Fines After VW Canada Pleads Guilty to Dieselgate Charges

Volkswagen is pleading guilty, and two environmental groups are calling for billions of dollars in penalties, after the federal government capped a four-year investigation of the 2015 Dieselgate scandal by laying 60 charges against the company under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

New York State Loses Anti-Fraud Case Against ExxonMobil

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has failed in an attempt to prove that colossal fossil ExxonMobil defrauded its investors out of up to US$1.6 billion by hiding the true costs it would face from climate change regulation.

Wildfire

PG&E, Wildfire Victims Reach $13.5-Billion Settlement

Bankrupt utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has reached a tentative US$13.5-billion settlement with the victims of devastating wildfires that killed dozens and destroyed tens of thousands of homes across its Northern California service area.

Shipping Moves Closer to Mandatory Carbon Reduction R&D

Denmark to Cut Emissions 70% by 2030 While New Zealand Adopts Climate Policy Lens

Two of the world’s wealthier countries have committed to a more ambitious response to the climate crisis, with Denmark adopting a 2030 deadline for a 70% emissions reduction and New Zealand declaring it will filter all major government decisions through a “climate lens”—although observers aren’t unanimously excited about New Zealand’s plan.

BP ‘Greenwashing’ Campaign Draws Legal Challenge

New Coal Plant Construction Puts Indonesia at Odds with 1.5°C Carbon Target

Even as its neighbours join the rest of the world in turning increasingly away from coal, Indonesia is charging full steam ahead with new coal plant construction, putting any hope of aligning with a 1.5°C average global warming target under the 2015 Paris Agreement in serious jeopardy along the way.

Bristol Becomes First UK City to Ban Diesel Cars from City Core

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

BREAKING: Moody’s Downgrades Alberta’s Credit While Federal Regulator Predicts Continuing Over-Dependence on Oil

One of the world’s leading credit assessment agencies has downgraded its rating for Alberta, citing the province’s over-dependence on fossil fuels, lack of pipeline access, carbon intensity, and vulnerability to climate disasters.

60% of Toxic Superfund Sites in U.S. Are Vulnerable to Climate Impacts

With 60% of America’s toxic Superfund sites at risk from climate impacts like storm surge and flooding, wildfires and rising seas, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must urgently incorporate climate change into its risk assessments and response protocols, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) states in a report release last month.

U.S. Utility Suspends Gas Moratorium in New York State

Massachusetts Town’s Gas Heating Ban Could Spur Change Across Region

New EU Pollution Controls Undercut Investments in Coal Refurbishments

Trump Administration Eases Regs on Utility Coal Ash Disposal

Ecofiscal Commission Urges $210/Tonne Carbon Tax as Canada Falls Behind on 2030 Target

Canada will need to quadruple its carbon tax to C$210 per tonne by 2030, enough to raise gasoline prices by about 40¢ per litre, if the government relies solely on pricing to hit its 2030 emissions reduction target, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission concludes in its final report issued this week.

Alaska National Wildlife Refuge

Trump Administration Plans Massive Expansion for Alaska Oil Drilling

Continuing its assault on Obama-era environmental protections in the Arctic, the Trump administration released a draft proposal earlier this month to open as much as 81% of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve—critical habitat for endangered caribou, grizzlies, wolves, and migratory birds—to exploratory drilling for oil.

Federally-Owned Trans Mountain Takes Criticism for Surveillance on Indigenous Opponents

In a move that legal experts are condemning as a disquieting disregard for the democratic rights of assembly and free expression, federally-owned Trans Mountain Corporation has been conducting surveillance on its opponents, trolling their social media posts, and exchanging intelligence with the RCMP.

Doug Ford Ontario government

Seven Youth Sue Ford Government for ‘Tearing Up Ontario’s Climate Laws’

Seven Ontario youth are suing the Doug Ford government for “tearing up the province’s climate laws and violating their Charter rights to life, liberty, and security of the person,” Ecojustice announced yesterday.

EU European Union

EU to Declare Climate Emergency Ahead of UN Climate Conference Next Week

European Union legislators are on track to declare a climate emergency ahead of the annual United Nations climate conference opening next week in Madrid, while stressing that the symbolic statement must be backed up by action.

California Sets Moratorium on Fracking Technique, Demands Scientific Evidence for New Permits

California will make new oil and gas fracking permits subject to scientific review, slap a moratorium on a production technique responsible for a recent major spill, and set new public safety rules for siting oil and gas wells under new regulations announced last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Sumatra elephant

Fires Driven by Drought, Forest Clearing Ravage Sumatran Elephant and Tiger Habitat

Fires across Indonesia this summer and fall, driven by a wet season cut short by drought, drained peatlands turned to tinder, and farmers conducting slash-and-burn forest clearing, have ravaged habitat for critically endangered Sumatran elephants and tigers.

New York City Launches Appeal in Climate Suit Against Colossal Fossils

Ecojustice Challenges ‘Partisan Political Purposes’ Behind Alberta’s Foreign Funding Inquiry

Environmental law charity Ecojustice has filed a legal challenge against the Kenney government’s C$2.5-million commission on supposed “foreign-funded radicals” opposing the Alberta fossil industry, asserting the probe was set up for “partisan political purposes” and has been tainted by bias in its operations.

Parliament Buildings Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa Offers Flexibility on Fossil Regulation as New Cabinet Gets to Work

Alberta’s energy minister declared herself “very encouraged” by her first meeting with her federal counterpart, Ottawa’s Western liaison opened the door to watering down federal environmental protection regulations, and Quebec environmentalists second-guessed the decision not to appoint one of their own as environment minister as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s newly-appointed cabinet got down to work last week.

Pete Buttigieg

Spat Over Buttigieg Campaign Advisor Spotlights Splits in Climate Action Community

Concern about the fossil fuel connections of a climate advisor to South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg in his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is pointing toward a public spat within the U.S. climate and energy community.

Kalamazoo River tar sands oil spill

Keystone Spill Affected 10 Times More Land Than Regulator First Reported

The 1.4 million litres of tar sands/oil sands bitumen that spilled from the Keystone pipeline late last month affected 10 times more land than North Dakota state regulators initially reported, state environmental scientist Bill Seuss said Monday.

Cars for sale

California to Stop Buying from Automakers that Back Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback

California has declared it will stop doing business with automakers that support Donald Trump’s bid to roll back the state’s long-established right to set its own, tougher fuel economy standards.

Trump wind farm

Trump Organization to Pay $290,000 for Failed Attack on Scottish Wind Farm

Four years after his effort to block an offshore wind farm project near one of his 16 golf courses was unanimously rebuked by the UK Supreme Court, Donald Trump has been ordered to pay Scotland US$290,000 to cover its legal expenses.

New Map Shows 19 Years of Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Spills

B.C. Energy Efficiency Regs Quietly Do Their Job

California, 22 Other States Launch Latest Suit Against Trump Fuel Economy Rollback

Nearly two dozen U.S. states are taking Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the U.S. Court of Appeals to defend California’s long-standing right to set its own, tougher standards for vehicle fuel efficiency.

Charity Slams ‘Undemocratic, Unfounded’ Foreign-Funded Radicals Panel

Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party government is taking fire from one of the province’s most established philanthropic institutions, with the Edmonton-based Muttart Foundation declaring that Alberta’s inquiry into supposed foreign funding of anti-fossil advocacy is polarizing, undemocratic, and unfounded.

Canadian Fossils Log 11,452 Federal Lobbying Contacts in Eight Years

An astronomical 11,452 lobbying contacts from 46 fossil companies between 2011 and 2018—an average of more than six per regular work day over an eight-year span—amounted to “strategic, organized, and sustained lobbying” that helped to explain “the past and continuing close coupling of federal policy to the needs of the fossil fuel industry,” according to an analysis released earlier this month by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

Absence of Other Choices Drives Indigenous Role in Oil and Gas

The potent power of oil and gas is dividing Indigenous communities in western Canada, with one side championing the industry as the only available path away from poverty, while the other condemns it as a neocolonialist destroyer of Indigenous values and the global climate.

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. Fossils Stretching the Truth? Warren Has a Plan for That

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), for whom “I have a plan for that” has become a mantra in her campaign for her party’s 2020 presidential nomination, is proposing a “corporate perjury” law to crack down on corruption in industry and citing colossal fossil ExxonMobil as a poster child for why the measure is needed.

New York State Walks Back Charges Against Exxon

Ex-EPA Administrator McCarthy Joins NRDC as CEO

Gina McCarthy, who led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency between 2013 and 2017 under President Barack Obama, has signed on as president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an organization that has amassed an impressive record of wins in the nearly 100 environmental lawsuits it has launched against the Trump administration.

TC Energy Restarts Keystone Pipeline While Studying Why 1.4 Million Litres Spilled

TC Energy is restarting the Keystone pipeline while it works to understand why the line spilled more than 1.4 million litres (9,120 barrels) of tar sands/oil sands diluted bitumen along a quarter-mile/0.4-kilometre stretch of northeastern North Dakota late last month. The incident has only strengthened the resolve of Nebraska landowners fighting the company’s efforts to expropriate their land to build the fiercely-contested Keystone XL pipeline.

White House Twists Automakers’ Arms in Crusade Against California Carbon Controls

Arm-twisting automakers into an assault on tailpipe emission standards, and taking regulatory action against companies that won’t go along, has emerged as one of the latest strategies in the Trump administration’s continuing push to roll back Obama-era pollution controls while punishing California for trying to defend them.

EXCLUSIVE: Brazil Crude Oil Calamity Spells Warning for Canada

Eight weeks ago, the famed white sand beaches of northeast Brazil began blackening as globs of toxic oil suddenly appeared to coat or contaminate crustaceans, fish, sea turtles, birds, rocks, and shallow mangrove nurseries sheltering all manner of marine life. An investigation by Paul McKay.

Two-Thirds of Canadians Want Federal Action on Climate Crisis

Two-thirds of Canadians want the country’s response to the climate crisis to continue or accelerate under Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government, and nearly 60% were dissatisfied with the Conservative Party’s climate platform in the recent federal election, according to polling results released last week by Clean Energy Canada.

Study of Fracking-Related Earthquake Shows B.C. Rock Formations in ‘Hair-Trigger State’

Fracking operations should proceed with caution in gas-rich northeastern British Columbia, with recent research into last November’s fracking-induced 4.5 magnitude earthquake near the Site C dam site revealing underground rock seams in a hair-trigger state—needing only a small injection of fracking fluid to induce “seismicity”.

Nova Scotia Declines Cities’ Request for Offshore Oil and Gas Moratorium

Two First Nations Abandon Trans Mountain Appeals

Florida Regulator Pushes Back on Utility Plan to Cut Efficiency Programming

Green Economy, Climate Change Emerge as Key Priorities for Trudeau Government

The green economy and climate change are shaping up as a key focal point for the re-elected Trudeau government, with seven cabinet portfolios set to play “key roles in helping Canada adapt to the rapidly expanding global green economy and create jobs in clean energy,” the Globe and Mail reports, citing sources familiar with the government’s emerging priorities.

U.S. Utility Plans 30 More Years of Gas Plants, Despite Risk of Early Phaseouts

North Carolina-based Duke Energy is insisting that natural gas plants built today are critical lynchpins in its strategy to become 100% carbon-free by 2050, dismissing some stakeholders’ predictions that they will be stranded assets long before that date, with future generations left to pick up the tab.

Twitter Political Advertising Ban Allows Fossil Messaging, Could Block Critics

While Twitter is earning some praise for its decision to ban political advertising as of November 22, sharp-eyed analysts are pointing to an aspect of the social platform’s new policy that gives fossil industry propaganda a new advantage.

Nigeria Demands $62 Billion in Fossil Compensation

UK Sets Nation-Wide Fracking Moratorium

The United Kingdom has issued a temporary moratorium on shale gas fracking, citing the industry’s inability to “reliably predict and control tremors”.

Climate Groups Urge Canadian Green New Deal, Demand Fast Action on Climate Accountability Law [sign-on]

Pressure is mounting on Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government to deliver on its promise of climate action, with 27 youth protesters briefly occupying the lobby of the House of Commons earlier this week and a public interest law firm campaigning for a new climate accountability law.

Front-Line Protests, Solid Research Drive Indonesia to Quit Coal, Protect Biodiversity

From the transition off coal, to protecting the biodiverse islands that helped inspire the theory of evolution, a combination of front-line protests and solid research is pulling Indonesia toward a more aggressive response to the climate crisis.

Kinder Morgan Faces City Lawsuits Over Texas Aquifer

South Dakota Backs Off ‘Riot-Boosting’ Pipeline Protest Penalties

‘Step Backwards’ on Carbon Rules Saves Alberta’s Big Emitters $330 Million Per Year

Alberta has introduced a new C$30-per-tonne carbon cap-and-trade system that covers most of its biggest industrial greenhouse gas emitters, but will cost them $330 million less next year because of looser compliance requirements.

Central Bank Office in San Francisco Traces Financial Risks of a Destabilized Climate

A destabilized climate could lead to a precipitous decline in property values, cutting communities off from the tax base they need to fund climate adaptation while banks stop lending in areas that experience repeated floods, according to an analysis released earlier this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Russian Industry Guts Draft Climate Law

15,000 Rally with Thunberg in Vancouver as Youth Lawsuit Lists Climate-Related Injuries

An estimated 15,000 supporters crowded through downtown Vancouver for the city’s first weekly climate strike since the federal election, with #FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg on hand to lend her support to a youth lawsuit against federal climate inaction that was launched the same day.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraction_of_petroleum

Fossils Lobby for Subsidies as Decommissioning Orphan Wells Becomes Oilpatch’s Only Growth Industry

With more oil and gas wells abandoned than drilled in Alberta this year, decommissioning dead rigs is the only business showing any kind of growth in Western Canada’s struggling oilpatch.

Massachusetts Sues Exxon for Allegedly Defrauding Consumers, Investors on Climate Risks

Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil, in what Climate Liability News says is the first case to accuse the colossal fossil of fraud against both consumers and investors over climate risks.

Klamath River Gains Legal Rights as ‘Person’

TODAY: 15 Canadian Youth File Suit Against Ottawa’s Slow Response to Climate Crisis

Fifteen Canadian youth are filing a lawsuit against the federal government today, accusing Ottawa of violating their rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by contributing to the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for the climate crisis.

Critics Look for More Detail, Deeper Cuts After Nova Scotia Pledges Net-Zero by 2050

Nova Scotia has unveiled plans to bring its greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, and is holding the door open to set additional climate targets over the next year.

Spray-Painted Slur Mustn’t ‘Chase Women Out of Politics’, McKenna Asserts

A vile, misogynistic slur spray-painted on the campaign office of Ottawa Centre MP Catherine McKenna has led to an outbreak of multi-partisan decency, with everyone from federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to Ontario Premier Doug Ford condemning the vandalism.

Storing Grid Power in EV Batteries Could Level Out Utility Peaks, Save Owners $560 Per Year

An automobile fleet that included even 10% electric vehicles would be enough to shift the daily electricity generation peak in California from daytime to nighttime hours if utility Southern California Edison used the cars to store renewable energy while they’re parked and draw it down when it’s needed most, according to a study released last week.

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Baltimore Climate Suit Against 26 Fossils

With Climate on the Agenda, Advocates Call for Legislated Targets, Fossil Industry Phasedown

As election results rolled in last night in downtown Ottawa, climate hawks assessed the results of the first campaign in Canadian history where climate change was at the top of the political agenda. Now, they say the next step is to hold a reconfigured parliament accountable for the domestic action and international commitments that will make the country a world leader in responding to the climate crisis.

B.C. Regulator Takes Global View of GHG Emissions from Kitimat LNG Project

An upcoming public consultation will focus at least in part on the greenhouse gas impact of Chevron Corporation’s Kitimat LNG project, after the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) prevailed on the California-based colossal fossil to assess the project’s climate footprint from a regional and global perspective.

New York Regulator Approves Massive Battery Storage Project

Federal Regulator Second-Guesses Auditor After Fire Safety Review Finds Gaps at Trans Mountain Tank Farms

Fire protection systems at three oil storage facilities attached to the Trans Mountain pipeline fell short of industry best practices in some ways, even though they met “applicable regulations, codes, and standards,” according to an independent audit conducted three years ago and only released this week under access to information laws.

New Lawsuit Accuses Exxon of Masking Tens of Billions in Climate-Related Costs

Colossal fossil ExxonMobil will stand accused of misleading investors by masking tens of billions of dollars in climate-related costs when proceedings get under way next week in a civil case brought by New York State attorney general Letitia James.

Alberta Exempts Fossil ‘War Room’ from Information Access Laws

Dakota Access Protesters Face 110 Years in Prison

Oil Lobby Wish List Would Drive Up Canada’s Fossil Emissions 60% by 2030, Analysis Shows

The overheated wish list that Canada’s oil industry is putting forward in this month’s federal election would use up 60% of the entire country’s 2030 carbon budget under the Paris Agreement, Toronto-based Environmental Defence concludes in a scathing analysis released Monday.

New York Grid Looks to Carbon Pricing to Support Zero-Emission Target

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) is looking to carbon pricing as an option to reduce the otherwise “astounding” cost of bringing the state’s electricity system to zero emissions by 2040, though it says it won’t take action without a go-ahead from Governor Andrew Cuomo and state stakeholders.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament

Election Wrap: Parties Respond to Climate Survey, Enviros Tip-Toe Around New Election Law as Campaign Passes the Half-Way Point

Four out of five major federal parties answered a five-part survey on their intentions for climate action and environmental groups were still stepping carefully around Elections Canada rules for third-party messaging as the federal election campaign moved past the half-way point this week.

First Nations, Landowners, Local Governments File Objections to Trans Mountain Pipeline Route

Construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion could be held up by objections from dozens of First Nations, landowners, and local governments along the route, the Globe and Mail reports.

U.S. Judge Blocks Logging in Tongass National Forest

B.C. Municipalities Face North-South Split on Climate Accountability Lawsuits

All Eyes on 2020 After UN Climate (Action) Summit Fails to Deliver

The tepid results of last week’s United Nations Climate Summit pointed to the need for political will to match the urgency of the climate crisis, the opportunities in climate solutions, and rising public demand that governments take action, E3G co-founder and CEO Nick Mabey writes for Climate Home News.

B.C. Wins Injunction Against Alberta Bill to Cut Oil Supplies

Germany Charges VW Execs in Dieselgate Scandal

‘How Dare You?’ Thunberg Demands, as UN Climate Summit Gets Under Way

“How dare you?” was the question multiple media reports took away from Monday’s opening session of the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where #FridaysForFuture founder Greta Thunberg of Sweden was invited to the opening panel by UN Secretary General António Guterres.

New Hampshire Governor Bans Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

McGill Law Student Wins Global Essay Contest Arguing for Future Generations’ Climate Rights

A McGill University law student earned a spot at the United Nations Youth Climate Summit this past weekend by writing the winning submission to The Economist’s Open Future Essay Competition.

South Dakota Judge Stalls Lawsuit Aimed at Keystone XL Protesters

Ecojustice Threatens Legal Action Over Alberta’s ‘Foreign Interference’ Inquiry

Ecojustice is giving Alberta 30 days to respond to concerns about its C$2.5-million inquiry into supposed foreign interference in the province’s fossil sector, asserting the probe is “unlawful and potentially unconstitutional” in its current form.

Pollution Controls Will Decline as Alberta Shutters Monitoring Office, Ex-Official Warns

The former chief monitoring officer of Alberta’s Environmental Monitoring and Science Division (EMSD) is raising the alarm about the province’s decision last week to shutter the office and fold it into a new administrative structure, at the same curtailing its stand-alone climate change office, warning that the province’s monitoring of fossil-driven industrial pollution will continue to decline as a result.

Minnesota Supreme Court Refuses Line 3 Review

BREAKING: Thunberg to Deliver Terse Testimony to U.S. Congress

#FridaysForFuture founder Greta Thunberg is scheduled to deliver terse testimony at this hour to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, along with three other youth leaders.

Squamish Nation Urges ‘Extensive and Deep’ Consultations as B.C. Court Sends Trans Mountain Back for Provincial Review

The Squamish Nation celebrated a limited victory yesterday in its fight against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, after the provincial Court of Appeal ruled the B.C. government must reassess its previous approval of the project based on changes to a federal regulatory review.

U.S. Aims to Strip California’s Right to Set Tougher Tailpipe Emission Standards

The Trump administration plans to follow through with an attempt to strip California of its hard-fought right to set tougher pollution control standards for cars and light trucks, the Washington Post reports, citing two senior government sources.

Federal Methane Rules Drive Better Technology, Tighter Measurement

‘Time to Pull the Plug’: Report Shows Construction Delays, Safety Issues Delaying Trans Mountain, Making Pipeline a Financial Loser

Construction challenges, steadfast opposition from landowners along the route, shocking safety and health risks at two tank farms, and the looming risk of construction “man camps” near B.C. Indigenous communities all call into question the federal government’s stated belief that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will open on schedule in 2022, Vancouver-based Stand.earth concludes in a blockbuster report released Wednesday.
The resulting delays could boost the project’s completion costs, undercutting its financial viability and turning the now publicly-owned pipeline megaproject into a “white elephant”, Stand says.

Kenney’s ‘Foreign Influence’ Probe Draws Criticism from All Sides

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is under fire from all sides, after unveiling details of a taxpayer-funded investigation of supposed foreign-funded pipeline opposition that includes an email “snitch line” for Albertans to report allegedly “un-Albertan” activities by their neighbours.

Japan Nuclear Regulator Announces New Probe of Fukushima Disaster

Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority is opening a new investigation into the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March, 2011 that forced 160,000 people to evacuate, many never return, and is now expected to take “decades and decades” to clean up.

First Nations List Climate Action as First Priority for Next Federal Government

Just two days ahead of the official launch of Canada’s federal election, expected later this morning, the Assembly of First Nations released a policy paper identifying climate change as the top priority for the next federal government.

Trump’s Light Bulb Efficiency Rollback to Cost Consumers $14 Billion Per Year

In what one major business-environment coalition is calling an “unforced error”, the Trump administration is moving to weaken a George W. Bush-era light bulb efficiency standard that dates back to 2007, was due to take effect in the new year, and would save enough electricity to power every home in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Opioid Judgement Against Major Drugmaker Holds Hope for Court Action Against U.S. Fossils

A landmark Oklahoma court decision holding a major drugmaker responsible for its part in the opioid addiction crisis is catching the attention of the growing legion of U.S. lawyers trying to hold fossils accountable for their role in the climate crisis.

Draft Law in Germany Would Begin Black Coal Phaseout in 2020

Iowa Landfill Tightens Rules for Discarded Wind Turbine Blades

Trans Mountain Wouldn’t Respond Fast Enough to Burnaby Mountain Tank Farm Fire, Federal Regulator Concludes

Trans Mountain Corporation won’t be able to respond fast enough if one of the bitumen storage tanks in its massive Burnaby Mountain tank farm boils over and spills, according to an audit completed in May by the National Energy Board, before it was replaced by the new Canada Energy Regulator.

‘Cruel Parody of Anti-Trust Enforcement’ as Trump Justice Department Probes Automakers’ Emissions Deal with California

In what a New York Times editorial calls a “cruel parody of anti-trust enforcement”, the U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation after four major automakers embarrassed Donald Trump by striking a deal with California to boost their vehicles’ fuel efficiency and reduce their tailpipe emissions.

Appeals Court to Hear First Nations’ Case on Trans Mountain Pipeline Re-Approval

Six British Columbia First Nations are getting ready for a “long road ahead”, in the words of Coldwater Indian Band Chief Lee Spahan, after the Federal Court of Appeals agreed this week to hear their legal challenge to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Civil Liberties Lawsuit Says Ontario’s ‘Sticker Act’ Violates Free Speech Guarantees

The Ontario government is violating free speech provisions in the Canadian Constitution by forcing gas stations to display its propaganda stickers opposing the federal carbon tax, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association contends in a lawsuit filed this week.

Trump Moves to Roll Back Protections for World’s Largest Intact Temperate Rainforest

Donald Trump and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue are planning to roll back Bill Clinton-era logging restrictions in Alaska’s 16.7-million-acre/6.75-million-hectare Tongass National Forest, exposing more than half of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest to logging, fossil, and mining projects.

Peru Plans to End Deforestation from Palm Oil by 2021

Trump Methane Rollback Sows Divisions Among U.S. Fossils

The Trump administration drove a wedge into the U.S. fossil industry last week with a proposal to roll back Obama-era regulations to control climate-busting methane emissions from oil and gas wells, pipelines, and storage facilities.

Sticker Campaign Counters Ontario Carbon Tax Propaganda as Ford Government Launches Supreme Court Challenge

A new non-partisan volunteer group in Ontario is handing out free pro-carbon-tax stickers to counter the mandatory propaganda campaign mounted earlier this year by the province, just as the Ford government announced it would appeal a court ruling that the federal carbon tax is permitted under the Canadian Constitution.

Canadian Energy Regulator Rises from NEB’s Ashes, Faces First Industry Dispute

Liberals Would Not Raise Carbon Tax During a Second Term, But Might Talk About It: McKenna

A re-elected Liberal government that took office this fall would not raise the federal carbon tax above its current 2022 threshold of C$50 per tonne, but might open consultations on a higher price toward the end of its second term in office, Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna clarified Monday, after a series of conflicting news reports dating back to the weekend.

Ontario Government Lays Groundwork to Abandon Legal Fight Against Federal Carbon Tax

Less than two months after a landmark Ontario Court of Appeals ruling upheld the federal carbon tax, Premier Doug Ford may be preparing the ground to abandon his much-publicized court challenge against the program.

Automakers Side with California Against Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback

Major automakers are siding with California against the Trump administration’s push to roll back Obama-era vehicle efficiency standards, as they scramble to dodge years of court battles and regulatory uncertainty and bolster their public credibility in the face of a mounting climate crisis.

Tesla Reboots Lagging Solar Rental Business as Walmart Sues Over Rooftop Panel Fires

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans to reboot his company’s lagging solar division by offering rooftop panels for rent in six U.S. states, just days before Walmart filed a lawsuit over seven fires it linked to Tesla rooftop installations between 2012 and 2018.

Quebec Court Leaves Door Open for Climate Litigation

Canada’s Climate Plan Falls Behind G7 as Global Business Coalition Urges Tougher Targets

Canada’s climate action plan is one of the least ambitious among the world’s leading industrial countries, and none of the seven countries are anywhere near the strategies they would need to hit a 1.5°C target for average global warming, according to a Climate Action Network-France report released on the eve of the annual G7 meeting.

G7 Offers Assistance, Bolsonaro Faces Withering Pressure as Amazon Rainforest Burns

G7 leaders meeting in France are close to an agreement to help Brazil curtail devastating wildfires in the Amazon rainforests, with a coveted trade deal between the European Union and key South American countries hanging in the balance and at least one politician urging the continent to ban Brazilian beef imports over the role of “Capitão Motoserra” (Captain Chainsaw), also known as Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, in enabling and encouraging the fires.

Lawsuits Begin After Trump Attack on U.S. Endangered Species Act

Hot on the heels of the Trump administration’s decision to aggressively weaken the nation’s highly effective Endangered Species Act, eight environmental organizations have launched a legal challenge, citing multiple violations of due process as well as a fundamental breach in the enshrined federal duty to protect America’s wildlife.

Bold Nebraska, Ponca Tribe Undeterred as State Supreme Court Approves Keystone XL Route

Bold Nebraska, Nebraska landowners, and tribal nations are vowing to carry on their fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, after the state Supreme Court upheld a November, 2017 route approval by the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC).

Newfoundland Regulator Takes Notice as Latest Offshore Oil Spill Points to Continuing Risk

The latest in a series of offshore oil spills has roused the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) to express some displeasure at fossils’ ability to meet their obligations for environmental protection.

Jaccard: Scheer Climate Plan Would Put Canada 100 Megatonnes Farther Behind Its Paris Target

Equipped with neither a carbon price nor meaningful regulation, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s proposed climate plan would ultimately find Canada’s emissions 100 megatonnes higher by 2030 than they would be under the Liberal Party’s existing strategy, writes climate and sustainability expert Mark Jaccard.

UK Plans to Relax Earthquake Guidelines for Fracking Sites

New Federal Assessment Rules Exempt Cement Plants, Fracking, In-Situ Tar Sands/Oil Sands

New cement plants, fracking fields, and in-situ tar sands/oil sands projects should not be exempt from review under the federal government’s new Impact Assessment Act, Toronto-based Environmental Defence argues in a letter to the Trudeau government released this week.

Financial Risk of Climate Change Has Economists, Ratings Agencies Worried

The potentially devastating economic and financial impact of unrestrained climate change has been coming into focus in several recent news stories, with global GDP on track to fall as much as 7.2% by 2100, accountants and ratings agencies taking note, and an economic historian warning the United States Federal Reserve to take action against a risk that could trigger the next global economic crash.

Coastal GasLink Asks First Nations to Squelch Community Opposition as NEB Rules Against Federal Review

Just two weeks after Canada’s National Energy Board rejected calls for it to review the contested Coastal GasLink shale gas pipeline, a First Nation in northeast British Columbia revealed the company behind the project tried to pressure it to squelch community opposition to the project.

Trump Officials Throw Roadblocks at Offshore Wind Project After Accelerating Fossil Development

The Trump administration is showing a distinct double standard in a series of decisions to deregulate fossil fuel development while slowing down the landmark Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm in Massachusetts.

Bankrupt California Utility Will Still Honour $42 Billion in Solar, Wind Contracts

There were sighs of relief in California earlier this month, after utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric confirmed it will honour all its contracts with renewable energy providers as it goes through bankruptcy reorganization.

Climate Advocacy Won’t Violate Federal Rules During Fall Campaign, Elections Canada Clarifies

Elections Canada had to go out of its way this week to clarify that environmental groups can talk about climate change during the upcoming federal election, and that charities won’t be seen as engaging in partisan activity by doing so, after a weekend news report raised concerns about the restrictions the groups could face once the official campaign period begins in mid-September.

Blockbuster News Investigation Reveals ‘Culture of Silence’ in Fossil Health and Safety Violations

National Observer and Global News are out with a blockbuster investigative report that alleges potentially deadly health and safety problems in the western Canadian oilpatch, driven by a pervasive “culture of silence” in which accident reports are falsified, would-be whistleblowers are at risk of being fired and ostracized, and not a single fossil in Alberta or Saskatchewan has ever been charged or penalized for filing deliberately misleading paperwork.

Lac-Mégantic Rail Line Faced ‘Several Urgent’ Issues in May, 2019 Transport Canada Inspection

The rail line that runs through Lac-Mégantic, the Québec community whose downtown was incinerated by a runaway oil train that killed 47 people in 2013, faces “several urgent” issues, according to a May, 2019 inspection report issued by Transport Canada and obtained by CBC.

Free Speech at Risk, Fossil Lobbyist Touts Success as Nine U.S. States Declare Pipeline Protest a Felony

Campaign groups and constitutional lawyers are raising concerns about free speech and a fossil lobbyist is bragging about his success, after nine U.S. states adopted laws at the behest of the fossil and chemical industries that make it a felony to engage in peaceful anti-pipeline protests.

Trans Mountain Pipeline Protester’s Donor Appeal Hits High Gear on GoFundMe

A donor appeal for British Columbia poet and university professor Rita Wong, sentenced to 28 days in prison for her part in protesting the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, is trending on the GoFundMe crowdfunding page, with 225 people contributing $16,765 in just three days (as of Tuesday evening).

22 U.S. States, Seven Cities Challenge Trump Rollback of Obama Clean Power Plan

Twenty-two U.S. states and seven cities went to court last week, trying to block the Trump administration from rolling back Obama-era restrictions on coal-fired electricity under the Clean Power Plan.

Trump Officials Move to Weaken Endangered Species Act, Speed Up Pipeline Approvals Under Clean Water Act

The Trump administration has introduced two new deregulatory efforts over the last 10 days, aimed at weakening protections under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, making it more difficult to factor climate impacts into endangered species determinations, and fast-tracking pipeline development with amendments to the federal Clean Water Act.

2020 Democrats Target U.S. Fossils as Nomination Campaign Heats Up

Fossil companies are emerging as a target of choice as Democratic candidates scramble to distinguish themselves in a crowded field for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

Pipeline Opponent Sees Fossil Subsidies Campaign as Latest Front Against Trans Mountain

A new campaign against the fossil fuel subsidies on which projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion depend is just the latest front in a fight against the pipeline that is far from over, writes Robert Hackett, professor emeritus of communications at Simon Fraser University and co-director of NewsWatch Canada, in an opinion piece for National Observer.

Exxon Accused of Pressuring Witnesses in NY Fraud Case, Disappoints Investors with Latest Financial Results

ExxonMobil faced accusations last week that it pressured possible witnesses in a climate fraud case brought by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, just as analysts pointed to continuing business challenges in the colossal fossil’s earnings report for the second three months of 2019.

U.S. Senate Votes to Fund New EV, Alternate Vehicle Infrastructure

First Big U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Runs Into Fishing Industry Concerns

Berkeley Bans New Natural Gas Hook-Ups

Republican States Lead the Transition as U.S. Regulators Push Renewables Over Coal, Natural Gas

Alert to the steadily improving economics of wind and solar—and growing ever more wary of natural gas investments becoming stranded on the fossil slag heap—U.S. state regulators are increasingly pushing utilities towards renewables, with Republican states leading the transition.

Landmark Court Case Holds France Responsible for Air Pollution Impacts

12,000-Litre Hibernia Oil Spill Produces ‘Russian Roulette’ for Ocean Wildlife

As cleanup efforts continue in the wake of last Wednesday’s 12,000-litre spill in the Hibernia oilfield off the Newfoundland coast, questions are being raised about the wisdom of letting fossils self-report on the cause and extent of such incidents, and the effort they put in in response.

Canada’s Approach to Trans Mountain Violates International Law, Washington State’s Lummi Nation Asserts

Canada is violating the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and sidestepping international environmental law in its handling of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and a proposed three-berth marine container terminal south of Vancouver, contends the Lummi Nation in northwest Washington state, in a letter this week to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Featured_picture_candidates/Barrow_Offshore_Wind_Farm

Biggest-Ever Renewables Procurement Makes New York a U.S. ‘Epicentre’ for Offshore Wind

Offshore wind developers Ørsted and Equinor and industrial workers along the eastern United States coast were the biggest winners last week as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced contracts for 1.7 gigawatts of offshore wind while signing his state’s Green New Deal into law.

BREAKING: Trump Abandons Fast-Tracked Fuel Efficiency Rollback as 2020 Election Deadline Approaches

The Trump administration is abandoning its accelerated timeline for rolling back the tougher fuel efficiency standards adopted under President Barack Obama, making it virtually certain the inevitable court challenges to the deregulatory push will be heard after 2020 presidential elections in the United States.

Chevron Gets Two-Month Oil Spill Under Control After California Orders Action

Two months and 800,000 gallons (three million litres) of crude oil-contaminated water later, Chevron Corporation has been ordered by California officials “to take all measures” to shut down an oil spill into a dry creek bed in Kern County and prevent any and all future disasters.

Quebec Youth Vow Appeal After Judge Rules Against Class Action

China Plans New Monitoring Network to Combat Mystery CFC Release

First Nations Challenge Trans Mountain in Court While Conservation Group Questions Project Viability

Six British Columbia First Nations have petitioned the Federal Court of Appeal to review Ottawa’s re-approval of the C$9.3-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, with Tsleil-Waututh Nation Chief Leah George-Wilson maintaining last week the Trudeau government was “non-responsive” to concerns communities raised during the last round of court-mandated consultations about the project.

Nearly Two Dozen States Back California Fuel Economy Rule as White House Prepares to Finalize Rollback

Governors from 22 U.S. states plus Puerto Rico, including at least three Republicans, are urging the White House to adopt tougher fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks, contending that consumers, automakers, and the environment will all suffer from Donald Trump’s determined effort to roll those standards back.

‘Staggering’ Data Dump Shows CSIS Spying on Northern Gateway Pipeline Protesters

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association says a “staggering”, 19-volume trove of previously restricted documents it published last week shows the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) illegally spied on activists and environmentalists opposing the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline.

Alberta Consults Fossils on Plan to Loosen Regulations, Lower Taxes

‘Déjà Vu’ as Six First Nations Take Trans Mountain Approval Back to Court

Scheer Vows to Scrap Federal Clean Fuel Standard

Canadian Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is vowing to scrap a key element of the Trudeau Liberals’ climate agenda, its yet-to-be-finalized clean fuel standard, if he forms a government after the federal election this fall.

Conservation Groups Appeal Trans Mountain Approval on Behalf of Endangered B.C. Orcas

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is headed back to court, with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Living Oceans Society asking an appeal court to rule that the federal cabinet failed to protect British Columbia’s endangered southern resident orca population when it re-approved the controversial, C$9.3-billion project.

‘Anti-Climate-Deficit Bill’ Would Filter All Federal Policies Through Climate Crisis Lens

The duty to safeguard Canadians against profound fiscal and physical harm now demands that all major policies and actions be viewed through the lens of the climate crisis, investigative reporter Justin Ling writes in a Globe and Mail op ed.

Alberta Launches $2.5-Million ‘Show Trial’ Against Tar Sands/Oil Sands Opponents

Albertans will shell out C$2.5 million in hard-earned tax dollars over the next year for Jason Kenney’s provincial inquiry into the supposed “foreign-funded special interests” undermining the province’s tar sands/oil sands industry.

Governments, Corporations Face 1,300 Climate Lawsuits in 28 Countries Since 1990

With more than 1,300 legal actions on the books in 28 countries since 1990, a new report is pointing to litigation as a powerful tool for addressing governments’ and corporations’ role in the climate crisis.

Ottawa Finalizes Carbon Price Plan for Large Industrial Emitters

The Trudeau government closed out the spring legislative season last week with the final version of a regulation that sets a carbon price for large emitters, includes a price break for steel and fertilizer companies, and creates incentives for emitters to invest in cleantech companies and support decarbonization projects overseas.

Garossino: Despite Pipeline Approval, $70-Billion Federal Plan is Canada’s Best Shot at Decarbonizing

While the Trudeau government disappointed its climate allies with its much-anticipated decision to re-approve the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, it has also crafted a more complicated record on energy and carbon by committing to C$70 billion in low-carbon investment over a 12-year span, reporter Sandy Garossino writes in a provocative post last week for National Observer.

$30-Billion PG&E Bankruptcy Plan Includes New Name, New Negotiations with Solar and Wind Suppliers

A US$30-billion bankruptcy plan, a new name, a compensation fund for wildfire victims, and the right to renegotiate contracts with older renewable energy suppliers are the elements of a plan taking shape to pull California utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) out of insolvency, after its power lines were blamed for the inferno that literally burned Paradise to the ground last summer.

Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Federal Carbon Tax

The Doug Ford government will be looking for a hearing before the Supreme Court of Canada after the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled 4-1 last Friday that the federal government had the constitutional authority to introduce its national carbon pricing plan.

Michigan Attorney General Sues Enbridge to Shut 66-Year-Old Line 5 Pipeline

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a lawsuit last Thursday against Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., demanding the company shut down the 66-year-old Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac.

Canada Joins California on Tailpipe Emissions Standard, Clean Vehicle Development

Canada is aligning its automobile tailpipe emissions standard with California and will work with the most populous U.S. state to promote cleaner-running vehicles, under a new agreement that puts the country onside against the Trump administration’s attempt to roll back fuel efficiency targets introduced by President Barack Obama in 2012.

U.S. Fossils Fret as Leading Democrats Call for Mandatory Climate Risk Disclosure

Virtually all the leading candidates for next year’s Democratic presidential nomination are calling for mandatory disclosure of the climate risk fossil companies face. And fossils are beginning to feel the heat.

Pink Floyd Rocker Donates Guitar Auction Proceeds to Climate Lawsuits

Determined to help those who refuse to join “in the turning away” from the climate crisis, legendary Pink Floyd rocker David Gilmour will be donating all proceeds from his forthcoming guitar auction to the non-profit environmental law organization ClientEarth.

Alberta Offers Fossils 10-Year Guarantee of Low Royalty Rates

Oregon state capitol ZehnKatzen/Wikipedia

‘Send Bachelors and Come Heavily Armed’: Rogue Senators Threaten Violence, Destroy Oregon Climate Bill as Democratic Majority Caves

An Oregon senator promised violence against state police, threats from right wing militia shut down the state legislature, and a website using the “blue lives matter” slogan touted a crowdfunding campaign supporting the renegade legislators over the local constabulary, after Democrats tried to pass a carbon cap-and-trade bill introduced by Governor Kate Brown.

BREAKING: Canadian Senate Passes Impact Assessment Act, B.C. Tanker Ban, Arctic Drilling Moratorium

The Canadian Senate adopted Bills C-69 and C-48 last night, along with a lower-profile measure enshrining a moratorium on Arctic oil drilling, clearing the way for the country’s new Impact Assessment Act and a federal ban on large tanker traffic off British Columbia’s environmentally sensitive north coast to become law.

Scheer Climate Plan ‘Like Building a House Without a Hammer’, Mirrors Fossil Industry Campaign Demands

More than a year after he promised it, and after weeks of mounting hype, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer released his party’s climate plan Wednesday, a glossy, 60-page document with no fixed carbon reduction target that he cast as Canada’s best shot at meeting its 2030 goal under the Paris Agreement.

Line 3 Pipeline Faces Six-Month Delay in Minnesota While Line 5 Loses Traction in Michigan

With this week’s federal re-approval of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion triggering outrage and likely legal action across the country, two other pending pipelines—Line 3 through Minnesota, and Line 5 through Michigan—were running into new regulatory and political roadblocks south of the Canada-U.S. border.

EPA Tosses Lifeline to U.S. Coal with Rollback of Obama’s Clean Power Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled long-anticipated plans to complete its rollback of President Barack Obama’s signature Clean Power Plan, the latest in Donald Trump’s failing campaign to resuscitate his country’s dying coal industry.

Trans Mountain Pipeline Approval Triggers New Lawsuits, Leaves Fossils Unsatisfied

In a move condemned by critics as the height of cynicism, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several senior cabinet ministers announced re-approval of the C$9.3-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion Tuesday afternoon, not 24 hours after their government pushed a climate emergency resolution through the House of Commons.

Ottawa Could Face Youth Charter Challenge After Approving Trans Mountain Expansion

With its decision yesterday to re-approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the Trudeau government could find itself face to face with a constitutional challenge filed by a leading environmental lawyer—on the urging of his 13-year-old daughter, a school climate strike veteran in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

CAN-Rac: Canada’s Next Climate Plan Must Cut Carbon Faster, End Fossil Subsidies

Faster carbon reductions, an end to fossil subsidies, more support for international emission reductions, and a commitment to “leave no community, group, or worker behind” are the cornerstones of the comprehensive, accountable climate plan Canada will need after this year’s federal election, Climate Action Network-Canada (CAN-Rac) asserts in a policy paper released earlier this week.

Judge in Exxon Fraud Case Tosses Fossil’s Attack on NY Prosecutor

Solar Investors Run Afoul of DC Scammers

No Business Case for Trans Mountain, Ex-Cabinet Minister Warns, as Decision Day Nears

With the Trudeau government widely expected to announce re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion tomorrow, news reports have excitement building in Calgary, and a former Liberal cabinet minister warning there’s no business case for the project.

McKenna Promises $50 Carbon Tax Cap After Parliamentary Budget Officer Suggests Higher Charge

A carbon pricing report by Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) Yves Giroux set off a small flurry of pre-election posturing last week, with the Conservative opposition claiming the release was a stalking horse for future tax increases and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna promising to limit the levy to C$50 per tonne after it hits that scheduled threshold in 2022.

Pembina Applauds, Fossils Claim ‘Disrespect’ as House Passes Amended Impact Assessment Act

The Pembina Institute applauded a step forward and the fossil lobby accused a senior federal cabinet minister of being “disrespectful” as the amended Bill C-69, the proposed federal Impact Assessment Act, passed the House of Commons in a party-line vote Thursday evening with its essential features largely intact.

Judge Allows Baltimore to Pursue Climate Impact Suit Against Two Dozen Fossils

Liberals to Reject Most Senate Amendments to Impact Assessment Act

The federal government is poised to reject most of the amendments to the proposed new Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, put forward last month by unelected Conservative Senators following a relentless lobbying and public relations effort by the fossil industry.

Industry Sees No Impact on Demand, Still Urges Feds to Go Slow on Single-Use Plastics Ban

Within hours of the official announcement that Canada would ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, the plastics industry was simultaneously claiming the initiative would have no impact on demand for petrochemical feedstocks and suggesting there are more effective ways to address plastic pollution than by banning products outright.

String of Cancellations Could Spell the End of New Gas Plants in California

The latest in a string of project cancellations is opening up the possibility that California will never have to build another new natural gas plant.

Automakers Urge Trump to Relent on Tailpipe Emissions Standard Rollback

Seventeen of the world’s biggest automakers are urging Donald Trump to step back from his attempt to gut Obama-era tailpipe emission standards for cars and light trucks, warning that the sweeping deregulatory effort “threatens to cut their profits and produce ‘untenable’ instability in a crucial manufacturing sector,” the New York Times reports.

Keystone Wins Court Appeal, But Further Legal Challenges Await

Opponents of the ever-controversial Keystone XL pipeline are exploring “all available legal avenues” to halt the project, after a U.S. appeal court overturned a judge’s decision to reject its construction permit in Montana last November.

Cracked, Leaking Storage Tanks Point to Alarming Safety Risks for Leading U.S. LNG Exporter

A series of leaks and cracks in the massive liquefied natural gas storage tanks operated by Cheniere Energy, the Houston company that until recently had a virtual monopoly on U.S. LNG exports, is raising alarming questions about a company that has seen a decade of rapid growth and enjoyed steady support from Trump Republicans and Obama Democrats alike.

U.S., Canadian Youth Take Climate Inaction to Court as Juliana Gets a Hearing, ENJEU Argues Class Action

Major youth climate lawsuits in the United States and Canada both advanced this week, with the 21 plaintiffs suing the United States government for its inaction on the climate crisis finally getting to petition for their day in court, and Montreal-based ENvironnement JEUnesse arguing for its class action suit against the Trudeau government.

Ottawa’s Climate Response Violates the Rights of an Entire Generation, Class Action Argues

Lawyers representing Montreal-based ENvironnement JEUnesse went to court yesterday to make the case for the organization’s class action suit against the Trudeau government’s inadequate response to the climate crisis.

Big Companies Foresee $970 Billion in Climate Risk, $2.1 Trillion in Gains from Climate Action

More than 200 of the world’s biggest companies anticipate nearly US$1 trillion in business risk—more than half of it in the next five years—due to climate change, but $2.1 trillion in benefits from climate-friendly products and services, according to an analysis of thousands of corporate disclosures by CDP, the UK non-profit formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Rainforest Destruction in Brazil Hit 10-Year High in May

Brazil recorded its worst rate of rainforest destruction in a decade over the crucial month of May, with the government’s own satellite imagery showing illegal loggers stepping up their activity under the deregulatory regime of President Jair Bolsonaro.

Trump’s EPA Offloads Thousands of Deaths by Changing Its Math

Minnesota Appeals Court Rejects Line 3 Pipeline Approval

Fossils were disappointed and Enbridge saw its share price fall 4.7% Monday, after a Minnesota appeals court ruled a state regulator had failed to properly consider the impacts of a Lake Superior oil spill in its approval of the proposed Line 3 pipeline replacement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraction_of_petroleum

Abandoned Well Cleanup Could Take 2,800 Years, Alberta Regulator Tells Industry

It may take more than 2,800 years to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells across Alberta, National Observer and Star Calgary reveal in an exclusive report this week, after obtaining a September 2018 presentation to a private industry gathering by a senior official with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).

Kenney Courageously Strikes Back After Wildfires Defame Alberta’s Oilpatch

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is all set to strike back at the perfidious wildfires besmirching the fossil industry’s good reputation, reports Canada’s satirical online magazine, The Beaverton.

Oregon Senate Adopts Five-Year Fracking Moratorium

The Oregon State Senate adopted a five-year moratorium on oil and gas fracking last week, after amending a House resolution calling for a 10-year ban.

Coal Transport, Climate Change Justify Lawbreaking in ‘Self-Defence’

Vrooman, Guilbeault Urge ZEV Mandate, Support for Deep Energy Retrofits

A federal zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate and stronger support for deep energy retrofits are the main recommendations of the federal Advisory Council on Climate Action, released during the Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver earlier this week.

Australia Reports Rising Emissions, Sees Strong Renewables Potential, as Adani Mine Fight Intensifies

The intensity surrounding recent national elections in Australia is rolling over into the post-campaign period, with the country’s greenhouse gas emissions still rising, its potential for renewable energy development still catching attention, the fight over the massive Carmichael coal mine reaching a fever pitch, and its most heavily-populated state feeling the full force of climate-driven drought.

Utility Advocate Challenges NJ’s $300-Million Nuclear Bailout in Court

Alberta Party Leaders Unanimously Back C-69 Amendments from Unelected Senate Committee

The 187 amendments to Canada’s proposed Impact Assessment Act adopted by the unelected members of the Senate Energy Committee would make the bill acceptable to Alberta, according to a joint letter signed by Premier Jason Kenney, opposition leader Rachel Notley, Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel, and Alberta Liberal leader David Khan.

B.C. Asks Supreme Court to Overturn Judges’ Decision Against Trans Mountain Regulation

British Columbia is on its way to a Supreme Court of Canada appeal, after the provincial Court of Appeal ruled unanimously against its right to apply environmental regulations to heavy crude shipped through the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

China Boosts Unsubsidized Renewables But Storms Ahead with Coal Production, Air Pollution

While China is surging ahead with more than 20 billion watts of unsubsidized renewable energy, the country is also seeing alarming increases in coal consumption, coal-driven air pollution, and emissions of an ozone-destroying chemical that was banned in 2012.

Ohio Becomes Battleground on the Legal Rights of Nature

Ohio is becoming a battleground in the fight over the legal rights of nature, after voters in Toledo adopted a ballot initiative in February that establishes a bill of rights for Lake Erie.

San Diego Microgrid Plan Faces Regulatory Hurdle

Pre-Election Messaging Rolls Out as Ottawa Confirms Federal Carbon Tax for Alberta

With Ottawa confirming last week that it will impose its backstop price on carbon after the Jason Kenney government moved to eliminate Alberta’s carbon levy, fossil-friendly pundits are working to frame climate and carbon as a winning issue for Conservatives in this fall’s federal election.

New York State Rejects $1-Billion Natural Gas Pipeline

Presenting their decision as rooted in a responsibility to protect state waters from pollution, New York State regulators have rejected a contentious US$1-billion dollar natural gas pipeline that would have linked their state to the gas fields of Pennsylvania.

UN Shipping Agency Wastes Time ‘Rearranging Deck Chairs’, Ignores Climate Emergency

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) squandered valuable time debating procedure and process when it could have been working to decarbonize the global shipping industry, appalled members of the Clean Shipping Coalition concluded after the agency wrapped up a meeting of its Marine Environment Protection Committee in London, UK last week.

Former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Chair Calls for Nuclear Reactor Ban

The former chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the country’s nuclear industry should be banned, after concluding that the dangers of climate change no longer outweigh the risk of catastrophic reactor accidents.

Indiana Regulator Blocks Utility’s Plan to Replace Coal Plant with Gas

‘Unprecedented’ Interference by Unelected Senators Puts Environmental Reforms in Jeopardy

Politicians and environmental groups are raising the alarm about political interference after unelected Canadian senators voted down one environmental protection bill in committee and adopted hundreds of amendments to a second one, after both had been passed by the elected House of Commons.

Oilpatch Journalist Debunks Krause’s Conspiracy Theories About Anti-Pipeline Campaigners

Part of Jason Kenney’s “pushback strategy” is a C$2.5-million public inquiry into “the foreign source of funds behind the campaign to landlock Alberta energy.” Another is a $30-million-per-year “energy war room” that will “tell the truth assertively,” presumably tweet for tweet. Kenney has said in speeches and press releases that his pushback strategy is based upon VIvian Krause’s work. What if she’s wrong? – An investigative report by Markham Hislop

Lake Erie Wind Project Agrees to High-Tech Bird, Bat Monitoring

Nebraska Flooding Points to Spill Risk from Keystone XL

The “bomb cyclone”-driven flooding across the midwestern United States has become the latest in a litany of arguments against construction of the US$8-billion Keystone XL pipeline, with a Nebraska farmer, former oilfield worker, and avowed Republican pointing out that the rising waters could have triggered a spill on his property if the pipeline had been in place.

U.S. Regulator Delays Canadian Firm’s Oregon LNG Project by One Year

Florida City Votes to Close Local Coal Plant by 2024

Carbon Farming Could Sequester Billions of Tonnes of CO2, with U.S. Pilot Project as One First Step

A concerted, well-supported effort by the world’s farmers to restore and protect soil health could reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by as much as 65 parts per million (ppm) from the current, alarming level of more than 413 ppm, participants heard during an April 10 carbon farming webinar hosted by Washington, DC-based Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

U.S. Regulator Declares ‘Micromanagement’ After Exxon Shareholders Demand Climate Action

Canada On Track to Re-Approve Trans Mountain, But Northern Gateway Restart Looks Unlikely

Canada is likely to re-approve the controversial Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, but a resurrection of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline plan is not in the cards, according to two separate news reports this week.

Senators Table Competing Amendments to Bill C-69

After a relentless push by the fossil lobby and others in the natural resource sector, Conservative and Independent members of the Senate Energy Committee are proposing hundreds of changes to Bill C-69, the proposed federal Impact Assessment Act.

Legal Battle Looms Over Europe’s Nord Stream Gas Pipeline

Texans File Suit Against Kinder Morgan’s Permian Pipeline

Deadbeat Fossils Withhold Taxes, Lease Payments from Alberta Municipalities and Landowners

Rural municipalities in Alberta are out more than C$81 million in tax revenue from oil and gas companies, and deadbeat fossils are also asking landowners, mostly farmers, to let them skimp on lease payments on the properties their oil and gas rigs occupy, according to a follow-up news report on Trident Exploration’s decision last week to shut down operations and abandon 4,700 gas wells.

Canadian Coalitions’ Election Platforms Call for Faster Action on Climate

With national elections in Canada just 5½ months away, three different coalitions are out with non-partisan campaign platforms aimed at propelling all the federal parties toward faster, more ambitious action on climate change.

U.S. Solar Tax Credit Extension Would Help Communities Facing Coal Phaseout

There’s an unexpected good reason for the U.S. government to extend its solar energy tax credit through 2024, according to a new briefing note by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis: It’s an essential support for coal communities making the transition to cleaner, less expensive, low-carbon energy.

Buffett-Owned Utility Proposes to Replace Coal with Renewables+Storage

Bankrupt Alberta Fossil Abandons 4,700 Wells, $329 Million in Clean-Up Costs

A bankrupt Canadian fossil is walking away from 4,700 abandoned natural gas wells and an estimated C$329 million in clean-up costs, according to a report last week by the industry-funded Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).

Saskatchewan’s Moe Vows Supreme Court Appeal After Judges Uphold Federal Carbon Tax

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is vowing a Supreme Court appeal after his province’s Court of Appeal ruled Friday that a federal carbon tax imposed on the province is constitutional and falls within Ottawa’s authority.

Canada Falls Behind on Climate Risk Reporting, Sustainable Finance

With Canada’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance due to report this spring, and a recent national climate assessment showing the country warming at twice the global rate, two community investment strategists say it’s time to catch up with other jurisdictions in requiring companies to disclose their climate-related investment risk.

Texas State Bill Would Punish Pipeline Protest on Par with Second-Degree Murder

The Texas state legislature is considering a bill that could make peaceful efforts to hinder pipeline construction a crime on par with second-degree murder, an escalation of penalty which observers say violates constitutional protections on the rights to protest, and to protection from undue punishment.

Amsterdam to Ban Petrol, Diesel Vehicles by 2030

U.S. Rolls Back Rules Meant to Prevent Next Deepwater Horizon

New York State Bans Offshore Drilling

AARP Gets Set to Stand Against Ohio Coal, Nuclear Subsidies

U.S. Supreme Court Backs Fight for Reparations Against Indian Coal Plant’s Funder

In a precedent-setting case that corporate polluters will be watching closely, fishers in India’s westernmost state of Gujarat have taken their plea for reparations against the financier of a massive coal plant to the U.S. Supreme Court—which recently ruled in their favour.

Whittingham Quits Alberta Regulator in Face of Kenney ‘Smear Campaign’

Indigenous Group Declares Legal Win Against Oil Drilling in Ecuadorian Amazon

Nigeria Senate Bans Natural Gas Flaring

Canada On Track to Hit Paris Target 200 Years Late as NEB Endorses Carbon Tax

Carbon taxes are an efficient way to reduce energy use and related carbon pollution in homes and businesses, fostering greater innovation and adoption of clean energy technologies, Canada’s non-partisan National Energy Board (NEB) concludes in a report issued last week.

Ottawa, Toronto, Burlington, and Victoria Step Up with New Action on Climate

Four Canadian cities have stepped up their action on climate change in the last week, with Ottawa and Burlington, Ontario declaring a climate emergency, Toronto considering climate liability action against major fossil polluters, and Victoria endorsing free transit across B.C.’s Capital Regional District.

Trump Administration Freezes Massive Offshore Drilling Scheme Until After 2020 Election

The Trump administration is acknowledging at least a temporary defeat in its effort to open 128 million acres (51.8 million hectares) of Arctic and Atlantic Ocean waters to oil and gas drilling, announcing Thursday that it will delay release of the plan until after the 2020 U.S. election.

Alaska Governor Seeks Trump Permit for Oil-by-Rail from Alberta

Massachusetts Approves 800-MW Offshore Wind Project

Péloffy: ‘Epic Clash of World Views’ Pits Public Mobilization Against Fossil Lobby

Quebec’s “climate spring” is a cascading grassroot trend that the province’s “powers that be” ignore at their peril, argues Karine Péloffy, legal counsel for the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement (CQDE), in a recent post for iPolitics.

Coal Plants Failed, Renewables Shone as Epic January Heat Wave Hit Australian Grid

Australia’s mammoth coal plants failed while its wind and rooftop solar installations shone during a major January heat wave in Victoria state, according to a report last week by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

South Carolina Republicans Propose Offshore Drilling Ban

BREAKING: Emissions at Four Alberta Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mines 64% Higher Than Fossils Reported

Carbon pollution from four major tar sands/oil sands mines in northern Alberta is 64% higher than their owners reported using the United Nations’ standard emissions measurement framework, according to a study released this morning in the journal Nature Communications.

News Analyst Hopes for ‘Less Bellicose’ Kenney as Climate Groups Prepare for the Worst [GoFundMe Campaign]

News commentary in the wake of the United Conservative Party’s decisive election win in Alberta last week is skewing in two equal and opposite directions, with some stories pointing toward a more moderate, somewhat middle ground for UCP leader Jason Kenney, while the climate groups he spent much of the campaign vilifying prepare for the worst.

Ohio Subsidizes Nuclear, Blocks Clean Air Credits for Most Renewables

EVs Could Save India $2.5 Billion by 2030

India’s ambitions to have electric vehicles meet 30% of the country’s transportation needs by 2030 could save the country an estimated US$2.5 billion, according to a report co-authored by government policy think tank Niti Aayog (the National Institution for Transforming India) and the Snowmass, Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Institute.

Loevinsohn: Climate Resilience Matters, But Resistance Begins in the Courts

I was on Vancouver Island this August. The haze that dimmed noon to dusk and that drove air quality off scale—the worst on the planet for a time—was a shock, as it must have been for many. I have been working on and around climate change for a good while, mostly in the global South, but this summer I had it in my face and in my lungs.

Crown Drops Charges Against 14 Unist’ot’en Blockaders

Trump Plans to Deregulate Deadly PM 2.5 Particulates

New Projects Would Boost Wisconsin’s Solar Capacity Five-Fold

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

Expect ‘Flood of Litigation’ if Bill C-69 is Watered Down, Athabasca First Nations Warn

Canada will face a “flood of litigation” if the Trudeau government’s proposed Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, is watered down, four First Nations chiefs from the Alberta tar sands/oil sands region warned last week in testimony to a travelling Senate committee.